Posted by Jerry White on Dec 22, 2014
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23 (ESV)
While we remember the wonder of God’s Son becoming flesh, we must also remember the ultimate reason for His coming. Why did God come be with us on earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth? Was it just because He pitied us and did not want to send us to hell, but rather to heaven? So easy it is to look at this marvelous gift from a self-centered perspective as if it is all about us and our need. It is about our need, but ultimately it is for His everlasting glory and pleasure.
God created us for His pleasure. We exist for His purpose. Being a holy and righteous God, His delight is to have a holy and righteous people—-sons and daughters who are perfectly and purely holy and righteous like Him. This was His plan from the beginning, it has never been altered, and He will bring it to pass to demonstrate in a magnificent way that He is LORD with whom nothing is impossible.
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) wrote clearly about what is to come in our final spiritual state of being. This reminds us why Christ came and what mission accomplished means.
“In that day, Christ will take those of you whom He has redeemed and reconciled, and present you to Himself a glorious church. He will confess your name before His Father and present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Saints will have a double perfection in that day.
You will be perfectly righteous. You will be ‘unreprovable.’ Satan will accuse you. Christ will show His scars and say, ‘I died for that soul.’
You will be perfectly holy. You will leave the body of sin behind you. The Spirit who dwells in you now will complete His work. You will be like Jesus, for you will see Him as He is. You will be holy as God is holy, pure as Christ is pure.”
(The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne, 112)
Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! (Revelation 15:3, ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 25, 2013
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
James 4:3 (ESV)
“If you want the fullness of the Holy Spirit so you may realize a certain experience, attract people to yourself, or transform some difficulty into a stepping-stone, you are likely to miss it. You must be set on the one purpose of magnifying the Lord Jesus in your body, whether by life or death. Ask that all inferior motives may be destroyed and that this may burn strong and clear within you.
God will not find water for us to use for turning our own waterwheels. He will do nothing to minister to our pride. He will not give us the Holy Spirit so we might gain celebrity, procure a name, or live an easy, self-contented life. If we seek the Spirit merely for our happiness, comfort, or liberty of soul, it will be exceedingly unlikely that He will be given. His one passion is the glory of the Lord Jesus, and He can only make His abode with those who are willing to be at one with Him in this.
But if you are motivated simply by the desire that the Lord Jesus may be magnified in you, whether by life or death, then rejoice, because you are near blessing beyond words to describe. If your motives fall below this standard, trust in Him to enlighten and purify them, and offer Him a free entrance within. It will not then be long before there will be a gracious response.”
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 79
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
The main question for any request of the Lord is this: Do I want this for me or for His glory?
Our selfishness and self-centeredness is deeply rooted in our sin nature. Only by deliberate choices with reliance on the Holy Spirit can we go against this inbred perversity. The Lord Jesus indicated quite graphically that we must take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). If we do not follow His clear instruction then indwelling selfishness rises up, and even in spiritual matters we revert to self-centered desires and perspectives. We must make it our goal that His honor and pleasure be first in all things.
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 14, 2013
“I ask myself, I ask you: where is the ‘Oh’ in our response to God? Where is the intensity of awe and amazement that a true knowledge of the Holy One of Israel ought to evoke? Much of the church has lost the ‘Oh’ in her relationship with and response to God. Do you want to know why so many believers are muddling through the Christian life, just trying to stay out of hell and to get by with as little discomfort and risk as possible? It is because when they think of God, instead of ‘Oh’ their response is a ‘Who?’ of ignorance, or a ‘Huh?’ of disinterest, or a ‘So what?’ of indifference. It isn’t exclamatory excitement but a religious snore that emanates from the soul of so many in the church today when the character of God is at issue.
It grieves me to say this, but the primary reason people are in bondage to sin is because people are bored with God. One of Satan’s most effective tactics is to convince us that God is a drag. And the church has contributed in its own way to this dismal image that God has among His people.”
Pleasures Evermore, 108-109
“If we belong to a reigning, ever-present, all-powerful Lord, who possesses all authority in heaven and on earth, then should we not expect to see Him do what would cause us to have, in the words of A. W. Tozer, ‘astonished reverence’? Should we not experience, again in Tozer’s words, ‘admiration to the point of wonder and delight’? Should we not be renewed again and again by glimpses of His glory with us?”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 159
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 10, 2013
Because sin perverted our nature into a self-centered one, we see everything from our selfish, self-serving point of view. This even carries over into our new life in Christ when we are converted. We see our salvation being for our sake, and we do not even realize how self-centered our thinking is.
Liberty with fullness of joy, love, and peace becomes ours when our thinking and attitude is converted to see clearly that we are not the center of everything. It is not primarily for our sake that we have received so great a salvation, but rather it is for God’s glory. We were created by Him and for Him. All things were made for His pleasure. We were rescued from the kingdom of darkness by Him and for Him. God does not exist for me but I exist for Him. He is not my servant to do my bidding, but as His redeemed child, I am His bondservant to do His bidding.
It makes a magnificent difference when one decides and determines that he or she will adopt the attitude that God, and only God, is the center of everything, and all things are for His honor and pleasure. Then one will rejoice that any blessing received, or answer to prayer given glorifies God and brings pleasure to His heart. Becoming concerned about God’s pleasure and honor more than your own selfish desire is key to entering into abundant life. Did not Jesus say that the greater blessing is to give rather than to receive (Acts 20:35)? What blessing it is that we can give our gracious Lord Jesus honor and pleasure because we want all things in our lives to be for His sake more than for our own selfishness and satisfaction.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
“For your name’s sake you lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3).
“Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long” (Psalm 44:22).
“Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power” (Psalm 106:8).
“For your name’s sake, O L0RD, preserve my life!” (Psalm 143:11).
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake” (1 John 2:12).
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36). (All references from ESV with emphasis mine.)
All blessing from God comes to us from our Father’s heart of limitless love and is for His glory, yea, for His name’s sake.
Posted by Jerry White on Jul 25, 2013
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD.
“In our quest for greater knowledge and spiritual growth, we sometimes overlook or forget the foundational truths of the faith. Unless we remember to return and build upon the basic biblical doctrines, our spiritual progress will be stifled. The most basic of all these truths is the character of God, and in this holy ground the Christian life is rooted.
God’s character is fundamental to everything else. In Scripture he has revealed his person, powers, and perfections. In his person, he is the self-existent, infinite, eternal, and unchanging Creator of all things. In his powers, he alone is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. In his perfections, his attributes include holiness, justice, truthfulness, love, and goodness. We cannot hope to understand the spiritual life unless we lay hold of and cling to the truth of God’s character, especially his love and goodness.
God’s love is manifested in the fact that he is a giver. From the beginning, he has given in spite of the fat that people have rejected his gifts more than received them. The essence of love is to give and to seek the highest good of the recipient.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (emphasis added)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25 (emphasis added)
If we want to understand what God has done for us, we must believe that all his actions are born out of love. When God loves, he is simply being himself (1 John 4:8).”
Conformed to His Image, 104-105
The first question when reading and meditating on God’s Word is: What does this reveal to me about God as a person? He wants us to know Him, truly know Him and love Him.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 14, 2013
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians10:31 (ESV)
“Concern for the glory of God in all things was the heartbeat of God’s Son, Jesus. When only one of ten lepers (and he a Samaritan) whom Jesus had cleansed returned to thank Him, Jesus said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ (Luke 17:17-18, emphasis added here and following). Jesus wasn’t indignant because He received so little thanks for healing these men. He wasn’t thinking of Himself; rather, He was jealous over the lack of glory God received for this wonderful miracle.
According to John 12:27-28, Jesus has realized that the time for His arrest and crucifixion is at hand. Knowing He will soon die under the wrath of God, listen to His primary concern: ‘Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour”? But for this purpose I came to this hour, Father glorify Your name.’ A short time later, just hours before He was taken into custody, Jesus taught us to ask in His name when we pray. Notice the reason why He promises such prayers will be answered: ‘And what ever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (John 14:13). The passion that propelled the entire life and ministry of Jesus Christ was His zeal for the glory of God.
From matters as crucial as the death of Jesus, to those as mundane as eating and drinking, the Bible presents the glory of God as the ultimate priority and the definitive criterion by which we should evaluate everything.”
Donald S. Whitney
Simplify Your Spiritual Life, 45-46
When your heart is captivated by the love of God and your soul overflows with deep passion to please Him in every relationship and circumstance, then your motive will be to glorify Him in all you do. You will see that nothing else really matters—at all.